We catch up with the man who inflicted Reading’s first ever defeat at the Madejski Stadium
In the 1998/99 season a thunderous penalty from full back Carl Bradshaw ended Reading’s 10 game unbeaten run at their brand new Madejski Stadium as Latics beat the Royals 1-0.
Bradshaw was prolific penalty taker during his time with the club, scoring 11 out of 12 spot kicks and five in the same season as his goal against Reading.
Now owner of his own building company the 44-year-old recalled the victory over Reading in 1998 by saying:
“I remember scoring the penalty and I remember the feeling after we’d won because not only had they been unbeaten at their new ground, they’d been really good for the first part of the season.
“It meant a lot to the team to beat one of the in-form sides and it gave us a lot of momentum.”
Looking back on his only miss against Burnley at the end of the same season Bradshaw said:
“I used to just smash them and the one I missed I changed my mind because I expected the keeper to just stand still so I went to his right but he made the save, I should have just hit it down the middle as usual.”
The no-nonsense defender was part of the Wigan Athletic team that missed out in the Division Two play-offs on two occasions but won the Auto Windscreens Shield.
Bradshaw reminisced on the pride of winning the cup with the club but was frustrated at not being able to gain promotion.
“We had a very good side at the time and I am proud to have played for the club,” he said.
“There was a time in that team when we had nine players who all had Premier League experience and the only ones without were Ian Kilford and Roy Carroll and Roy obviously went on to play for Man United, so I think the quality of the team was well known at the time.
“Winning the Auto Windscreens was a good way of showing how good we were but we just kept losing out narrowly on getting promoted to Division One.”
After leaving Wigan Athletic in 2001 Bradshaw joined Scunthorpe United before ending his career with non-league Alfreton Town, a team he believes Latics have set a good example for.
“We had a good side at Alfreton and we had a good Chairman like Dave Whelan was to Wigan Athletic.
“If we’d have spent a bit more money we would have got to the Conference where the club is now.
“Latics have been cemented in the Premier League for eight years now and the success of the club has shown to everyone that anything is possible.”
The former Sheffield United man also held praise for his old Latics team mates Roberto Martinez and Graeme Jones, who he believes are doing a great job for the club.
“I really like what they do in charge of the club and they’ve got the team playing some really good football.
“Roberto and Graeme are quite the opposite to each other really which is why their partnership works so well.
“Roberto was quite a quiet lad whereas Graeme was a little bit bubbly and a bit of a jack the lad who loved having a laugh.
“They were both just really genuine blokes and they were really good friends when they played together at the club, so I’d say they’re made for the roles they’ve got at Latics now.”